- WSL / Damien Poullenot

Kelly Slater will not be boarding the World Surf League's charter flight to Australia on March 6th due to injury, and therefore will be unable to compete in the upcoming Championship Tour events in Australia. He is currently focused on his recovery and will be re-evaluated in 30 days and would be eligible to compete after gaining clearance from his doctor.

"I've been struggling with recent and ongoing injuries in both ankles since the Pipe Masters event and I had a separate injury in my right hip (and maybe previously broken foot) this past week which has left me unable to surf," Slater said. "It's a tough one for me because I love Australia so much and miss the time I usually get to spend there each year. I'll just have to use the time to get myself up to a level physically I never really got back to after my broken foot (in Jeffreys Bay in 2017) and get myself out of constant pain. Good luck to all my fellow competitors and I hope to see everyone back on tour soon."

Slater will be replaced by the WSL first alternate Mikey Wright from Australia for the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona.

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